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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    Dark Penguin's Avatar

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    Default New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Sometime tomorrow we're expecting our new Android phones to arrive. The carrier is not Sprint, directly, but a third party vendor that uses Sprint to deliver their service. It seemed like a great deal, because the new carrier will take care of our still quite substantial ETFs, and I'd been wanting to get into Android for a long time.

    But here's my concern: My current, and first, smartphone, is an HTC Pure/Topaz. It's been a decent phone, and I can get it to do most of the things I want, albeit with some effort expended on various workarounds and seeking out third party apps. It was a refurb when I got it in May 2010, so I don't even know old it is. From here I see it was introduced in October 2009, and I have no idea if mine goes back to this first generation of the model or not. As I say, I've been able to coax it into providing for most of my needs, but I'm fed up with the limitations of Windows and its tendency to be disdained and excluded by app providers. If you've ever had a WinMo smart phone, you know what I mean: There's always an app for that, but not for that, if you get my drift.

    So I picked out the LG Optimus S. Looking at the specs, here, I see that it was apparently launched towards the end of 2010, so it's at least a year newer than the HTC Pure. But continuing to look at the specs, I find a couple of very disturbing things, at least to me as an Android noob. First, the 3G network connectivity runs on EV-DO. EV-DO!? What? EV-DO was the technology used by my last two dumb phones! Does this mean the Optimus S is an utter, hopeless pig of a phone? And the data transfer speed isn't any more encouraging: Next to "DATA" we have: 3G Rev. 0, up to 153.2 Kbps. 153 Kilobits/sec? My current HTC has: HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps.

    So it looks like I'd be going from 2Mbps (or even 7.2) to something that's a dozen times slower? How is it even possible that smart phones with such slow connectivity would still be recently launched and sold? And yet, this phone is supposed to be able to provide its own hotspot. How would that possibly be done if the data throughput is but a trickle? It matters to me because I do like streaming media, albeit usually just audio.

    It's enough to make a middle aged man (want to) cry. If it's as bad as all that, I'd rather send my new unit back unopened, swallow a $30 restocking fee, and pick out something else.

    But as I've made clear, I'm an Android noob. Is there some factor I'm unaware of, which the more knowledgeable can use to reassure me?
  2. #2  
    tirith's Avatar
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    For what its worth, hotspot with skype runs better than on my home network... (comcast@12mbps)


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  3. #3  
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    In good signal i canget about 1gb speeds on 3G/ ev_do rev3

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  4. #4  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Well....

    This is my first android phone. I like it better than my phone that I had for two years prior to this one. But after using this phone for a few months, I can say without a doubt that this phone is fantastic for the price. I say that because I paid nothing for it. Stream media? Only if connected to wireless... Games? As long as they're not graphic intensive... Flash player? Not outside of Skyfire browser...

    If you want a phone that can do all of the above, you might want to look around harder before committing to an Optimus S. The processor isn't supported by Adobe or Mozilla, the memory needs to be tricked into believing in sd-ext and Sprint will maybe drop one more update before wiping it's hands free of the thing.

    It's a free android phone.
  5. #5  
    psaurus81's Avatar

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    Or you can root it, install CM7 and have a damn fast little phone that works extremely well with most apps. No problems streaming over 3g for me either.

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  6. #6  
    tirith's Avatar
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    Oh, and I watch netflix no problem with 1 bar on 3g

    Running cm7 o/ced to 748...

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  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buddlespit View Post
    Well....

    This is my first android phone. I like it better than my phone that I had for two years prior to this one. But after using this phone for a few months, I can say without a doubt that this phone is fantastic for the price. I say that because I paid nothing for it.
    My HTC was free, too. Anyway, free phones usually aren't, because you get locked into a contract.

    Stream media? Only if connected to wireless...
    Audio too? Or is it just AV you can't play without wireless? I do have wi-fi at home, so that's some help.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    It's a decent device. My wife is quite happy with it, her biggest gripe being the lack of LED. Does a whole lot of things that my EVO can.
  9. #9  
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    I think there has been a little misunderstanding. I love my phone. I think it's just fantastic! Root it? Done. CM7? Done. Overclock? Done. Pandora? Netflix? Youtube? Without wireless? Only if I let it buffer a lot first.

    My point is, if you want a multimedia or a gaming machine, you're going to be really disappointed. If you're already thinking that you might have made a mistake, you will probably be disappointed.

    If you want a platform that's highly configurable, welcome!!!

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  10. #10  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    This will be a huge step up from your WM phone. Android is far more stable, customizable and the selection of apps and phones is far greater.

    Sprint and Verizon (and pretty much all US providers except AT&T and T-Mobile) are CDMA networks so their 3G networks are EVDO. You can expect around 750kbps to 1mbps out of EVDO.

    Surfing the web on your phone (any phone) is limited by the speed of the cpu, not the network. If you are streaming audio an EVDO connection is more than enough. If you are streaming SD video, EVDO is more than enough. It probably wouldn't be enough to stream HD video... but the screen on this phone isn't even SD resolution so I'm not sure I'd bother streaming HD video.

    I tether thru my phone to my laptop and while it's a little slower then my broadband connection for general surfing it's not much slower.

    If there's something you do that requires more speed I'd recommend you look into one of the 4G phones... the Evo 4G, Evo 3D, Epic, Nexus S, Photon, etc.. Just check if there is 4G coverage where you are at since it's still early days for 4G networks.
  11. #11  

    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Penguin View Post
    So I picked out the LG Optimus S. Looking at the specs, here, I see that it was apparently launched towards the end of 2010, so it's at least a year newer than the HTC Pure. But continuing to look at the specs, I find a couple of very disturbing things, at least to me as an Android noob. First, the 3G network connectivity runs on EV-DO. EV-DO!? What? EV-DO was the technology used by my last two dumb phones! Does this mean the Optimus S is an utter, hopeless pig of a phone? And the data transfer speed isn't any more encouraging: Next to "DATA" we have: 3G Rev. 0, up to 153.2 Kbps. 153 Kilobits/sec? My current HTC has: HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps.
    You are reading the specs a little off. EV-DO the technology can do 3.1m/1.8m up/down, burst. In practice, with Sprint you'll probably see 500-800k down, but some areas can get 1.4-1.6m. If you are not traveling a lot you mostly care what you get in your home area so it doesn't matter what data rate someone else sees, just what you get in your area.

    Optimus is a decent phone one of the best budget Android phones all things considered. The Sprint underlying Sprint network can be good to overloaded depending on your area. I don't think Sprint MVNOs are offering WiMax so you don't really have a choice of anything faster than EVDO if you are going with Sprint MVNOs. If you went with Sprint, you could get WiMax phones, but the Sprint plans are usually more costly.

    IMO the condition of the network and whether the backhaul is overloaded is often more important than the specs. If you get 1.4-1.6m in your area on EV-DO with Sprint, for stuff you'd do on your phone, I doubt you'd care that much that HSDPA can go higher. Now if you are getting 300k in your area and someone else is getting 3M with T-Mo, then you'll care.
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  12. #12  

    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Penguin View Post
    Audio too? Or is it just AV you can't play without wireless? I do have wi-fi at home, so that's some help.
    For the phone itself, streaming audio should be no problem. Streaming video works fine for me using Slingbox.

    Of course it will depend on how the network performs in your area. That is the key. If it performs well, you'll likely be happy with the phone. If not, it probably isn't the phones fault (as Optimus is pretty stable and functional) but you'll feel like it is the phone's fault even though it is the networks fault.
    [How-To] Rooting LS670ZVH
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  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by apinkel View Post
    This will be a huge step up from your WM phone. Android is far more stable, customizable and the selection of apps and phones is far greater.

    Sprint and Verizon (and pretty much all US providers except AT&T and T-Mobile) are CDMA networks so their 3G networks are EVDO. You can expect around 750kbps to 1mbps out of EVDO.

    Surfing the web on your phone (any phone) is limited by the speed of the cpu, not the network. If you are streaming audio an EVDO connection is more than enough. If you are streaming SD video, EVDO is more than enough. It probably wouldn't be enough to stream HD video... but the screen on this phone isn't even SD resolution so I'm not sure I'd bother streaming HD video.

    I tether thru my phone to my laptop and while it's a little slower then my broadband connection for general surfing it's not much slower.

    If there's something you do that requires more speed I'd recommend you look into one of the 4G phones... the Evo 4G, Evo 3D, Epic, Nexus S, Photon, etc.. Just check if there is 4G coverage where you are at since it's still early days for 4G networks.
    Well, that's a bit more encouraging. Streaming AV in any definition wasn't really what I was after, anyway. The most I do with any video capability, on a handheld, is download news clips or the occasional YouTube clip. Audio's another matter though. I want to be able to listen to real radio stations' live streams, so Sirius or XM isn't going to do it for me. I assume if the station offers an Android app, and some of them do, I'm golden.
  14. #14  
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    I think everyone is accurate for the most. Chances are you won't be disappointed and you'll probably end up rooting. You can customize in a lot of ways. If you want a high end phone the optimus s isn't it. If you want a device that will give a high end phone a run for its money you're making a smart choice.

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  15. #15  
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    Tune in radio app has almost every radio station in the us

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  16. #16  

    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Here is a rather long post I made about my LG Optimus S speed back in December:

    This is my first smartphone so I don't have much to compare it to, but I just ran a bunch of speed tests under a couple different circumstances to test the 3G speed of my Optimus S (stock phone).

    Let me preface this by saying that my apartment is in a really dead zone for coverage. So dead that with my previous phone (which I had until last saturday) I had to go in to either the living room or the den and be near the windows in either of those rooms to have a conversation. Conversations were impossible in other areas of the apartment. (With my new Optimus S I can make calls basically in any room of the apartment except maybe the bathroom, in which the convo cuts in and out. Otherwise the calls are still fine even though I get 0-2 bars in various places in my apartment)

    Anyhow, I just happened to receive my Sprint AIRAVE Airvana signal booster today, so I ran some speed tests before installing the signal booster and after (it plugs in to your highspeed internet router and functions as a small standalone cell tower).

    Here are the results from the numerous speed tests I did with the Speedtest.net application under various circumstances. Download is listed first, Upload is listed second. All tests were done between 3pm and 4pm central time (traffic is bad outside from people going home early from work because of the holiday, so i assume cell traffic is fairly heavy too?)




    In my bedroom (NOT near a window or anything) - 0 bars of service showing and 1x icon showing instead of 3G icon
    0.03 Mbps D - 0.00 Mbps U (it was unable to even register an Up speed)

    In the den sitting in a chair (approximately 3 feet from window, phone in hands) 1 bar of service and 3G icon showing:
    0.20 Mbps - 0.01 Mbps
    0.23 Mbps - 0.09 Mbps
    0.23 Mbps - 0.02 Mbps

    In the den with the phone set directly on the window sill, 2 bars of service and 3G icon
    0.32 Mbps - 0.30 Mbps
    0.27 Mbps - 0.13 Mbps

    In the den with the phone held up to the window glass, 3 bars showing and 3G icon
    0.42 Mbps - 0.15 Mbps
    0.41 Mbps - 0.22 Mbps

    Now I installed the Sprint AIRAVE Airvana and after I was finished I had 6 bars showing and a 3G icon everywhere in my apartment (even in farthest corner from the AIRAVE separated from it by a few walls)
    1.46 Mbps - 0.63 Mbps
    1.62 Mbps - 0.61 Mbps
    1.40 Mbps - 0.43 Mbps


    Then I went and ran a couple errands and did some testing along the way out on the road.
    0.90 Mbps - 0.67 Mbps (had 4 bars/3G at this point)
    0.93 Mbps - 0.67 Mbps (same exact spot sitting at traffic light, 4 bars/3G)

    Farther down the road I had 5 bars/3G and got:
    1.40 Mbps - 0.82 Mbps

    Standing in line at the bank w/ 4 or 5 bars/3G
    0.72 Mbps - 0.21 Mbps

    Outside the bank in the parking lot w/ 5 bars/3G
    1.45 Mbps - 0.30 Mbps

    Back in the parking lot of my apartment (back in the dead zone, out of range of the AIRAVE I'm assuming) 3 bars/3G
    0.53 Mbps - 0.61 Mbps

    Back in my apartment with 6 bars/3G because of the AIRAVE
    1.42 Mbps - 0.62 Mbps
    1.67 Mbps - 0.63 Mbps

    I also ran a couple tests with WiFi enabled, through my ATT Uverse internet service
    7.63 Mbps - 1.46 Mbps
    8.63 Mbps - 1.46 Mbps

    My 12Mbps internet service registers 11.40 Mbps - 1.43 Mbps when tested on the computer (wireless), so the phone is obviously not as fast as a computer even when it's running the test through WiFi.
  17. #17  
    hlxanthus's Avatar

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    I don't get anything like that from my airave. I may have to give sprint a call. Granted I have an old version so that may be the issue


    Sent from my LG-LS670 using Tapatalk
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by tirith View Post
    Tune in radio app has almost every radio station in the us
    How is that with foreign stations, particularly with regard to the German-speaking countries and the UK?

    If not, at least I'll now be able to run I-Heart-Radio.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Penguin View Post
    How is that with foreign stations, particularly with regard to the German-speaking countries and the UK?

    If not, at least I'll now be able to run I-Heart-Radio.
    Should be good, considering it has all the Greek stations that I listen to.
  20. Thread Author  Thread Author    #20  
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    Default Rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by psaurus81 View Post
    Or you can root it, install CM7 and have a damn fast little phone that works extremely well with most apps.
    Is this "rooting" process difficult or risky with respect to the phone? How much danger is there of turning it into a brick?

    And do I need to root it before I begin to use the device?
  21. #21  

    Default Re: Rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Penguin View Post
    Is this "rooting" process difficult or risky with respect to the phone? How much danger is there of turning it into a brick?

    And do I need to root it before I begin to use the device?
    It is not difficult or risky but it requires you to follow the instructions word to word (or better bit to bit ).

    Rooting is a process that provides you root (i.e. administrator) access to your smartphone's operating system as opposed to the restricted access that you have when you get the phone. The restricted access does not prevent you from using the phone, but limits its potential.

    See the subforum and read carefully before you decide on anything.

    And if you come across something called ROM Manager DO NOT use it.
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  22. Thread Author  Thread Author    #22  
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    Default Re: Rooting?

    Quote Originally Posted by memsman View Post

    See the subforum and read carefully before you decide on anything.
    You mean, this subforum on this site, right?
    And if you come across something called ROM Manager DO NOT use it.

    And the first thing I noticed was the sticky about this.
  23. #23  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    As for the phone itself I highly doubt you will be disappointed. I constantly stream music via pandora and google music beta and it is seamless. I also watch youtube clips (and pornography lol) on my phone and that streams perfectly fine as well. I have speeds that reach over 1Mbps and regularly tether my netbook to it.

    As for rooting it is extremely simple and not very risky if the directions are followed properly. While it is definitely not a requirement it will give you access to more applications and customizations which for most people make the phone MUCH better. Its kinda like the difference between a Pinto and a Ferrari....they will both get you where you are going but one has way more features and is a lot more fun to drive lol
  24. #24  
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    Default Re: New to Android and LG Optimus S: Horrible mistake?

    Quote Originally Posted by hlxanthus View Post
    I don't get anything like that from my airave. I may have to give sprint a call. Granted I have an old version so that may be the issue


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  25. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Penguin View Post
    Is this "rooting" process difficult or risky with respect to the phone? How much danger is there of turning it into a brick?

    And do I need to root it before I begin to use the device?
    The difficulty and brick risk depends on your knowledge of computers (both windows or Mac and Linux) but the biggest factor is how well you follow directions. You have to do exactly what you're told including where it may say "read this entire page before beginning" and make sure you have a nice amount of power in your phone. No its not necessary to root but in my opinion a stock lg optimus s is a 6.5. Or 7 out of 10. Rooting it makes it a easy 8-8.5. You get more internal memory and have access to the latest android software version. But to do that you need to root, install recovery and flash a rom.

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